Climate Change in Indiana

Scientific researchers working independently from around the world have come to the same conclusion:  The most expensive thing we can do is nothing.  The second most expensive thing we can do is delay action.  We need to cap emissions now in order to avert the most severe global warming impacts.

According to the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Environmental Research, the increased levels of uncertainty and risk brought about by climate change impose new costs on the insurance, banking, and investment industries, as well as complicate the planning processes for the agricultural and manufacturing sectors and public works projects. Some of Indiana’s most valuable economic assets and industries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.  Rising temperatures and volatile weather patterns will create additional and burdensome costs for these industries.

In the last decade, Indiana residents have endured record-breaking heat waves, droughts, cold spells, and a number of floods, including two one-hundred year flood events and one five-hundred year flood event, so we are already seeing some early impacts of climate change. Most recently, flooding around Indiana shut down several roads and damaged homes and businesses, and volatile weather patterns have made farming much more difficult.

A study in the journal Nature Climate Change analyzed the impacts of various policy options for power plant standards on public health and clean air. The potential benefits to Indiana are illustrated in the graphic below. By reducing soot and smog, new standards have the potential to save 1100 lives, prevent 400 hospitalizations and 80 heart attacks in Indiana alone.


Learn more about the regional impacts of climate change:

“What Climate Change Means for Regions across America and Major Sectors of the Economy” – White House

“The Threat of Carbon Pollution: Indiana” – White House

“Regional Impacts: National Climate Assessment” – U.S. Global Change Research Program

“Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Indiana Communities and Ecosystems” – Union of Concerned Scientists

Click here for the National Wildlife Foundation’s fact sheet “Charting a New Path for Indiana’s Electricity Generation and Use”

The Morgan Monroe State Forest is part of an ongoing Integrating Worldwide CO2, Water, and Energy Flux Measurements. FLUXNET, a “network of regional networks,” coordinates regional and global analysis of observations from micrometeorological tower sites using eddy covariance methods to measure the exchanges of carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere.
At present over 500 tower sites are operated on a long-term and continuous basis. Learn more about this project HERE.

Indiana’s Tough Terrain to fight Climate Change:

    • Indiana’s former Governor Daniels wrote one of the hardest hitting anti-climate change policy OpEd in the nation, published in the Wall Street Journal. CLICK HERE to read this op-ed.
    • Then Congressman – now Governor – Mike Pence is an outspoken critic of the science of global warming on the national TV circuit. CLICK HERE to see some of the coverage.
    • Indiana’s legislature, while it acknowledges “carbon” is a problem, has tended to support all kinds of carbon-burning technologies, from coal to coal bed methane to waste-to-energy facilities.
    • Indiana’s state environmental agency (IDEM) has a track record of denying climate change or opposing climate solutions.
    • “Global warming comment sets off tempest at IDEM” – Indy Star
    • “IDEM’s Tom Easterly Says the Obama Climate Change Plan is Bad for Indiana” – Indiana Real Property and Environmental Law Report
    • “With friends like IDEM Hoosiers are on their own” – Nuvo

Take Action:

Support the Effort to Adopt a Statewide Climate Plan for Indiana

Earth Charter Indiana is leading a statewide, grassroots initiative to persuade policymakers to adopt a State Climate Plan for Indiana.   Presently, Indiana is one of just two states in the U.S. Midwest to not have such a plan. The plan would be a multi-year strategy to not only cut greenhouse gas emissions in Indiana but to help safeguard Indiana’s air, land, and water from the increasing impacts of climate change.

HEC supports this effort, and urges supporters to visit here to learn about steps that you can take to urge the Indiana Environmental Rules Board, which is part of the Executive Branch, to hold a dedicated hearing on Earth Charter Indiana’s petition to have an Indiana Climate Plan.




Climate Action Plan


National Climate Assessment Report

In May 2014, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released a Climate Assessment Report, Climate Change Impacts in the United States. This report details the climate change impacts that are already being observed, and updated estimates of future damages that can be expected under different scenarios.
CLICK HERE to access the full report.
Review the National Climate Assessment – Midwest Report.

Review media coverage of the 2014 Climate Assessment Report:
“Obama Administration releases Third National Climate Assessment for the United States” – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

“2014 National Climate Assessment key findings” – Climate Science Watch

“The White House’s Climate Assessment Heats Up The Discussion About Nuclear Power” – Forbes

“Climate Change Deemed Growing Security Threat by Military Researchers” – New York Times